Professor Ochapa Chico Onazi was born in Igumale in present day Ado Local Government Area on 20th November 1936. He began his long academic life in 1943 at Methodist Central Primary School, Igumale, leaving in 1949 and he then proceeded to the renowned Boys’ Secondary School, Gindiri in 1950.
Onazi left Gindiri in 1955 with Cambridge School Certificate Examination and gained admission into the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria in 1956. In 1958, he successfully passed his Higher School Certificate Examination, the prerequisite for University education back in the day.
The Pursuit of Excellence
In 1960, Onazi gained admission into University College London from where he graduated with a BSc in Zoology in 1964. In the same year, he returned to Nigeria and was appointed Agricultural Officer for Entomology in the Ministry of Agriculture of Northern Nigeria in Samaru-Zaria.
Onazi’s quest for more knowledge saw him return to London in 1966 for a postgraduate in Applied Entomology at Imperial College and in 1967 he graduated with double qualifications, a Diploma of the Imperial College (DIC) and an MSc from University of London, in the process becoming the first Idoma graduate from the prestigious Imperial College (in the 1960s, Imperial awarded its postgraduate students its own diploma as well as University of London’s degree since the college was part of the University then).
After his study leave at Imperial, Onazi was promoted to Senior Agricultural Officer and in 1969 he joined the services of the Institute of Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria as an Extension Specialist.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Onazi under the joint sponsorship of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Ahmadu Bello University, completed his PhD in Agricultural Education from Kansas State University in 1973. His PhD dissertation was titled “Comparative Analysis of the Training Needs of Potential Agricultural Extension Workers and Principal Problems of Extension in Northern States of Nigeria”.
After his PhD, the now Dr Onazi was promoted to Senior Extension Specialist / Senior Lecturer where he trained Agricultural Extension undergraduates and thereby boosting Nigeria’s capacity in this field. In 1975, he was appointed Deputy Director, Division of Agricultural Colleges and he became a Professor of Agricultural Extension and Education in 1981 and in 1984 left the services of Ahmadu Bello University following his appointment as Provost and Head of University of Jos, Makurdi Campus.
In 1985, Professor Onazi was appointed Vice-Chancellor of University of Jos, a position he held until the end of his tenure in 1989, making him the first person from Idoma Land to become a Vice-Chancellor in Nigeria.
In 2003, Professor Onazi was bestowed with a national honour, Officer of the Order of Niger (OON) for his services to education by President Olusegun Obasanjo and in December 2013, he was one of seventeen (17) professors to receive the Nigerian Universities Distinguished Professor Awards from the Nigerian University Commission (NUC) for his contribution to Biological Sciences.
Professor Onazi who has also been the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of Benue State University, Makurdi; Bayero University, Kano and Plateau State University, Bokkos, is a Fellow of the world renowned Royal Entomological Society. He is also a member of many national and international organisations and is the chairman of the Central Implementation and Planning Committee of the proposed Karl Kumm University.
Professor Onazi lives in Jos with his wife, Mikiya Ruth and together they have five children.
- Central Implementation and Planning Committee Members, Karl Kumm University. [Accessed 30 December 2020]
- Diploma of Imperial College, Wikipedia. [Accessed 25 June 2019]
- ONAZI, Prof. Ochapa Ochiko, Biographical Legacy and Research Foundation (BLERF). [Accessed 18 March 2018]
- The Team, Acorn Petroleum. [Accessed 18 March 2018]
- University of Jos History, University of Jos. [Accessed 18 March 2018]
- Ochapa Onazi, Wikipedia. [Accessed 18 March 2018]
- NUC honours first generation professors, others (2), Nigeria North. Webpage no longer available [Accessed 07 September 2017]